Criminal Docket Talk

Another week, another series of missteps and embarrassment for the National Felon League. More facts surface showing Adrian Peterson to be a backwards horrible human, the Cardinals’ Jonathan Dwyer is charged with felony assault for head butting his wife and breaking her nose and Roger Goodell held a news conference yesterday where he came off as even a bigger dissembling jackass than he seemed before.

Lost, at least somewhat, in the relentless shuffle of negativity surrounding the NFL were significant developments in the Ray Rice case that set everything off to start with. As an excellent report by ESPN’s Outside The Lines lays out, both the Baltimore Ravens and the NFL knew everything about the Rice incident immediately and colluded to minimize the impact on Rice. From the New York Daily News:

According to the ESPN report, the Ravens’ director of security, Darren Sanders, was made aware of the inside-the-elevator video just hours after Rice clocked his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer, at the now-closed Revel Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City in mid-February. Sanders, according to the report, had reached out to an Atlantic City police officer, who described in detail what transpires in the elevator video. Sanders then conveyed the information to Ravens executives, according to ESPN, although the report does not name which individuals Sanders contacted.

The report describes how Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, team president Dick Cass and GM Ozzie Newsome worked behind the scenes to try to have their star running back get off with a lenient punishment. According to ESPN, the three men campaigned with prosecutors in Atlantic City — where Rice was charged with assault — as well as with Goodell, since he would mete out punishment for Rice, and with organizational personnel.

The full NYDN article linked above is worth a read, and the long form detailed ESPN OTL article is chock full of further details and a tick tock from the night of the incident through the present day. Literally the only person who seems to have consistently been honest in this mess is Ray Rice. As I said in last week’s Trash Talk, I think he has a pretty good chance in his appeal with the league and the Ravens over his suspension in light of the Article 46 §4 single penalty clause. The Players’ Union formally noticed that appeal last Tuesday, and it is supposed to be heard within ten days.

Hey, it is not just the NFL that is chock full of criminals, the NBA has them too! Rex Chapman, former sharp shooting guard for the Bullets and Suns, and former NBA team executive, just got arrested for shoplifting $14,000 (yes, $14,000!!) of Apple products in Scottsdale. Oh, and career criminal Jameis Winston is in trouble again.

Welp, in addition to all the criminal docket activity, there is purportedly actual football to be played. It seems kind of secondary any more.

The Florida Gators are in Tuscaloosa and look ripe to get rolled by the Tide. I actually think the BYU and Virginia game may be decent. Don’t sleep on the Cougars, they have a good team and a favorable schedule this year. They are capable of going undefeated, but the Cavaliers will be a test. FSU may not have Career Criminal Winton at QB, but they should have enough at home to get past Clemson. Mississippi State could be a tough matchup for LSU.

The big game in the National Felon League is, of course, the rematch of the Super Bowl when Peyton and the Broncs meet the Seasquawks in Seattle. This game will be a lot closer that the SB was; I rate it a toss up, but would not be surprised if Peyton pulls off the win. The surprising Bills host the Chargers in an early game that should be pretty interesting. The Packers are in Detroit. Both teams are 1-1 and need the win. As much as I hate to say it, I think Detroit is the better team right now, and it will show. But Aaron Rodgers is starting to heat up again, so it could go either way. While the rest of the country is watching Peyton versus the Squawks, I will be stuck with Niners at the Cards. Carson Palmer is out again it appears for the Cards, and Drew Stanton will start for a second week in a row. With Palmer, I would like the Cards, but not sure there will be enough offense without him, so I will take the Niners there.

Well, that is enough. Talk some trash amongst yourselves.

90 replies
  1. scribe says:

    For anyone who had the teevee on for the BREAKING! presser given by King Roger the Clown, while those minutes can not be recovered it is clear he did himself and his continued career no good.

    The other thing which came out most clearly in the ESPN report is that King Roger plays favorites among owners and teams. Though I do have to say that, if the Stillers are one of the teams he favors, given his treatment of James Silverback Harrison and Big Ben – never charged with anything – well, with friends like that who needs enemies.

    Speaking of Silverback, it seems he’s taken down the classic “ain’t no fun when the rabbit gets the gun” tweet and is leaning back popping corn and watching cartoons. Probably knows he has to do that to have a later career in football. Also, when your nemesis is drowning and throwing him an anchor will get you trouble later (after he drowns), sitting there and watching is perhaps more satisfying.

    I, for one, will not miss King Roger. And, I suspect the result of all this – to be announced in time for the Super Bowl! – will be a disciplinary system something akin to baseball’s, where cases are decided by an arbitrator and not the Commissioner. As collectively bargained. And not the whimsy of King Roger. He’ll still be able to golf at Augusta after being kicked to the curb.

  2. emptywheel says:

    Told ya the Ravens had offered Rice money. Love that he kept the text from Biscotti basically offering him a sinecure to stay quiet.


    Too bad for the Ravens that Goodell kept lying about Rice’s truthfulness.


    Hoping OTL has a follow-up on how these fucker billionaires and their stooge are eating each other right now.

    • scribe says:

      I have to say that the mere fact it was ESPN running with a bigtime investigation and publishing it says volumes about how bad King Roger’s situation is. You all have presumably watched ESPN’s coverage of the National Felon League at one time or another. If you devoted any thought to it, you doubtlessly came to the conclusion that ESPN spent its professional life fellating the League and King Roger (except perhaps for Buffoon Jerry Jones) time and time again. Please tell me the last time ESPN departed from the party line as espoused by King Roger. Please. Please tell me the last time they gave fair coverage to labor issues involving the players. Please.
      You probably cannot remember. That’s not unexpected – they’re deep in King Roger’s pocket.
      So, either they’ve concluded King Roger will soon be deposed, or this is all some elaborate setup to find that the craven stupidity and venality exposed in their article is actually all Rice’s fault. Given King Roger’s ineptitude to date, I kinda doubt he has that kind of scheme in him.
      Draw your own conclusions….

      • Bay State Librul says:

        My conclusions:

        Roger will never admit that he lied.
        Roger Clemens never admitted that he took steroids.
        Barry Bonds never admitted that he lied.

        Big time lawyers win. Arrogance wins. Money wins.
        Although for the time being, Clemens and Bonds have not made the Hall of Fame

        Investigative journalists get kicked in the pants.

      • phred says:

        I have two words for you: Anheuser Busch. That shot across the bow wasn’t just aimed at the NFL, but at the vehicle for their NFL sponsorship, television, which includes ESPN. When choosing a pocket to be in, ESPN will choose the one with money.

        • Peterr says:

          ESPN is also increasingly sensitive to being called stooges of a league that looks increasingly criminal. With Fox Sports and NBC Sports both trying to win bigger sections of the cable sports pie, they do not want to look like stenographers — and the way this story has been unfolding elsewhere has made them look exactly that way.
          ESPN was pressured by the NFL last year for being too enthusiastic in their reporting on concussions and they pulled out of a joint project with PBS’s Frontline. Methinks that maybe they didn’t like the public reaction they got when the NYT put that story in front of everyone, and they really really really don’t want that to happen again.

          • phred says:

            Are you suggesting there is nascent integrity at ESPN??? Pshaw ; )

            I hope you are right, but for now I’m sticking with my beer money hypothesis ; )

      • masaccio says:

        I watched Sports Center this am to see what they had to say about Goodell. Most of it was that his plan is good and he’s sorry for getting it wrong the first time. Only one mention of the Van Natta story, and it wasn’t much positive. It was the woman from ESPN-W who talked about it, and she seemed mildly hostile, but din’t get to discuss why.

        ESPN anchors haven’t got the message from on high that it’s all right to dump on Goodell.

  3. bloopie2 says:

    One point of contention at this time seems to be, “Exactly what did Rice tell Goodell in the interview?” We are getting different takes on that, each to the advantage of the proponent. If Rice could prove he told Goodell about the punch, that would be a body slam to Goodell. Recalling that the FBI recently decided to record custodial interrogations, I wonder if the NFL will follow suit, or if the players union will demand it. Or will that prove too “dangerous”? Certainly such a recording could easily be leaked. To use another violent analogy, a “smoking gun”.

    • emptywheel says:

      The OTL story said 4 sources backed Rice’s story. Even if two of those are Rice and his wife, there are still people out there saying Goodell is lying.

      • bmaz says:

        Right, and one of them is Newsome, who steadfastly says Rice was completely truthful. It is not necessarily in Newsome’s interest to say that if not true, so I tend to believe him.

        To Bloopie: I have not seen the actual contents of the appeal; if it is public, I have not seen it. Obviously the “one penalty” argument is central to it, but I am unsure exactly how they applied it. Most commentators have focused only on Rice’s suspension by the league, but I am not sure why he wouldn’t have an argument against the Ravens too. They had the full facts and argued for the two game suspension. It was what they wanted. So, given that, what exactly was the basis for termination of his contract? Were I Rice I’d be telling them they need to pay me. I guess we shall see in time, but it is a pretty interesting situation.

        • bloopie2 says:

          You know, that ‘one penalty’ clause raises some interesting questions re collusion between League and Team. To what extent are they allowed to communicate with each other in handling a situation? Can they work together to settle on one penalty that is bulletproof as against the player? If it’s a Team penalty which is appealed to the Commissioner (I assume that’s possible under the CBA), then can any Commissioner involvement in setting the penalty be admissible as evidence in the appeal? Yet another reason for an outside arbitrator.

  4. felonious says:

    The latest should come as no surprise to anyone and the fact that Goodell plays favorites is hardly news. However here in New England the supposed favorable handling of the sideline taping incident was never so good for the Patriots. His ditching of the tapes hung the Patriots out to dry and lent credulity to the argument that the Patriots were cheating, an argument that still perseveres. I have no doubt that Belichick if not Kraft would have welcomed an airing of the tapes because it was much more likely that those tapes would have implicated most if not all of the teams in the league with similar practices. Goodell is spineless and shallow, the classic empty suit and just the man to front such a craven lot as the NFL owners.

  5. bloopie2 says:

    What exactly is the NFL’s tax exemption? Is it on the league itself? Or on the teams (which are distinct legal entities)? Can’t be the latter, I think. If on the league, then what revenues does the league itself have? Is that information posted somewhere?

  6. Jim White says:

    I’m thinking it’s going to take a lot of beer this afternoon for me to get through the Tide rolling all over the Gators. And our older daughter’s boyfriend is a big Bama fan, so I’m at serious risk of being trolled.
    Does anyone know how those kickstarter thingies work?  I’d like to find a way to get Coach T to visit the Prius-owning bmaz household. I’m thinking they are excellent candidates for his hall of fame since bmaz loves the coach and his ads so much.

  7. bloopie2 says:

    The CBA states:

    Section 4. One Penalty: The Commissioner and a Club will not both discipline a player for the same act or conduct. The Commissioner’s disciplinary action will preclude or supersede disciplinary action by any Club for the same act or conduct.

    Does this mean that Goodell’s indefinite suspension would abrogate the Ravens’ contract termination? How can that be?

    I guess my next question then is, what exactly is on appeal? The Commissioner’s action? The team’s action? Or both?

    • Peterr says:

      I believe that termination of a contract is not considered discipline, even though it may be done for reasons that merit discipline.
      Disciplinary actions are taken against people who are under contract, and the thinking is that league actions take precedence so that similar offenses by players on different teams receive similar penalties.
      But a coach can take disciplinary actions even when the league and the team management do not, and take action that hurts celebrity offenders where they live. The coach may not be able to fine the player, but put him on the bench with the cameras rolling and that player will not be a happy camper. Don’t let him strol around the sideline laughing and joking with his team mates, but sit him down on a little chair at the end of the bench.
      If the replacement does well, the offender will have to watch as he sees that he is not irreplaceable. If the replacement does poorly, he’ll have to sit there with the knowledge that his behavior put him on the bench and cost his team his talents. Either way, the cameras will be pointed at him ALL DAY LONG as he watches the game unfold. He’ll look like a little boy in the corner, which is more than a little humiliating for such a big, strong football player.
      Or, you know, the coach could send the player to the tree in the parking lot and tell him to cut a switch and bring it back to the coach . . . On the other hand, that might be a bit much.

      • bmaz says:

        Maybe, but why would it not constitute wrongful termination? There has to be a basis for termination, and their only basis had already been resolved – in a manner the Ravens requested – prior to the termination. I would argue that cannot then be a valid basis for termination.

        • Peterr says:

          I haven’t seen an NFL contract, but I find it hard to believe that there isn’t some “best interests of the team” clause that lets ownership terminate the contract. They may have to pay some kind of termination fee/severance to do it, but I think they can cut whoever they want, whenever they want.
          But this isn’t as one-sided a thing as it appears to be, shafting the player and giving all the power to the team. The downside to the team is that termination makes the player an immediate unrestricted free agent. No team wants to terminate a star player and have him show up on the other side of the field the following week, unless they’ve got a damn good reason.

        • emptywheel says:

          Sure sounds like the Ravens were fighting to keep Rice around not bc he could rush 3 yards a carry but because he was important outreach to the community.

          Once he no longer served that function, his use to the team was over.

          • bmaz says:

            That, and they seemed to genuinely like the guy. Until they couldn’t because it was bad for business.
            I know I will catch hell for saying it, but from all the evidence, he seems like exactly the kind of guy that diversion is designed for and that it actually might have been the appropriate prosecutorial discretion here.

  8. dakine01 says:

    I’ve been of the belief that Goodell would not resign as he is pretty much acting as the owners want him to act. But the ESPN report may be enough to get him pushed out the door (along with the Raven’s owner and upper management including Newsome).

    Kinda sad about Rex Chapman. That one just makes pretty much no sense at all unless he has managed to piss away the millions he’s made over the years.

    No Big Blue ‘Cats or Big Red ‘Toppers games this week so oh well

    • P J Evans says:

      Chapman might be one of those people who gets a charge from shoplifting – most of them, I understand, have the money to actually buy the stuff they’re lifting.

  9. Jim White says:

    For a little more local flavor on the Jameis Winston suspension being extended to a full game, note that when ESPN first made that announcement last night, they attributed the statement to the FSU Interim President.
    FSU is in the midst of a search for a new president, after the old one unexpectedly left to run Penn State. It is widely assumed that the president will be political hack John Thrasher, who leads the pack of four finalists just announced. Sadly, Interim President Garnett Stokes is far more qualified to be the long term president of the university, but even though she was a nominee in the search process, she did not make field of the final four. A previous attempt to make Thrasher the only candidate got derailed after strong protests from students and faculty.
    So the question now becomes since Stokes’ days are already numbered, whether she going to leave a legacy of dragging FSU kicking and screaming into actually forcing Winston to face real consequences for his uncontrolled behavior. Anyone who saw his smirk-filled press conference statement after the half game suspension was announced could tell that he merely saw that as a minor nuisance and that there would be no real changes to his behavior.
    Keep in mind that there still is an FSU investigation of the Winston rape going on in the background. Will Stokes manage to bring that to a close before she leaves office?

  10. Peterr says:

    Roger Goodell held a news conference yesterday where he came off as even a bigger dissembling jackass than he seemed before.

    I would not have thought that to be possible, but then I watched the first 20 minutes of the press conference . . .

  11. Bitter Angry Drunk says:

    Feel kinda of dirty for mentioning regular on-the-field football for a moment, but last year’s Super Bowl turned out as it did for a reason: Seattle is a much better team than Denver. No way the Broncos go up there and win.

    • emptywheel says:

      Plus, while neither team is as strong as last year, yet, the Donkos have fallen off more, and I’m not sure how much Welker will make that up.

    • phred says:

      After San Diego last week, I’m not sure that’s true (Squawks better than Broncos), but I have a feeling we may see a repeat of the recent tendency of the Squawks to be unbeatable at home and average on the road…

      • bmaz says:

        Yeah, a bunch of the ESPN experts say Denver is better this year than last.
        Where is the Gulf Coast Pirate?? Because Kenny Football and the Aggies are rocking again. Also Jim’s Gators are blasting the Tide.

  12. Peterr says:

    Bill Simmons at Grantland had a few thoughts on Roger’s press conference . . .

    I left my thoughts on my Twitter timeline as that wretched, defensive, unconfident mess of an ordeal unfolded. We knew it might be bad, but THAT bad? The only thing that press conference was missing was the camera panning over to Jon Lovitz dressed as Michael Dukakis, then Lovitz shrugging and saying, “I can’t believe I’m losing to this guy.” The best part was when Goodell admitted that he never thought of resigning — not once, not at any point. Really? Not once? Not one time??? He’s the most overmatched professional sports commissioner we’ve ever had. But hey, we knew that already.

    • phred says:

      Ummm, bmaz? How’s yer head this morning? Looks like you mighta been hittin’ EW’s liquor cabinet a little hard last night…

        • phred says:

          Good idea. It should help muffle any loud noises, shade some of the light, and in general protect your pounding head ; )
          Go PACK!!!

  13. Bay State Librul says:

    Rambling is not an offense: See Barry Bonds testimony and Goodell’s press conference

    They have engineered a way to avoid responsibility.

    I’m a Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech, and a hell of an engineer—
    A helluva, helluva, helluva, helluva, hell of an engineer.
    Like all the jolly good fellows, I drink my whiskey clear.
    I’m a Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech and a hell of an engineer.

  14. phred says:

    And we’re off!

    It is a relief to hear the announcers discussing the new approach being taken by the Packers’ defense. Dom Capers needs to do something. I hope this works…

  15. phred says:

    Nice defensive battle in Detroit. I didn’t expect that at all, but it is nice to see. Now if only the Pack can get their defense to score for them…

    • bmaz says:

      I can only follow by game trax updates of course, because my local CBS station is subjecting me to the Texans/Giants ugliest, but not happy with the Cheese production today. Whats the matter with the Cheese??

      • phred says:

        Not enough protection for Rodgers, so offense is a mess. Running backs (3 so far today) can’t seem to find any running lanes. Jordy is double teamed and the rest of the receivers can’t seem to catch the ball or end up in the right place on the field… Not pretty. Not pretty at all.
        The only good news is the Pack’s defense is better than they have been, although they are getting tired I think, so the Lions just managed to finally get a TD in the 2nd half.
        Of course, while I’ve been typing, the Pack’s offense is actually moving down the field. go figure…

  16. Peterr says:

    Turned on sports radio on the way home from church and immediately heard the words “After we come back from commercial, we’ll be talking about Roger Goodell and the NFL’s problems around domestic violence with Gloria Allred.”
    Those last three words almost put me onto the shoulder of the road. Fortunately, I retained control of the car and had 60 seconds to find a new station.

    • What Constitution? says:

      That does it. Way too much bad news, too many bad vibes here so far — and when Gloria Allred’s name comes up, it’d definitely time to try of offer something with a positive slant. Time to correct the imbalance and note that nobody’s been talking about baseball.

      So, just to make everyone feel good, the LAAoA do have the best record in baseball in an inspirational and just plain dominating run following season-ending injuries to two starting pitchers; Mike Trout is Mike Trout — let’s see, in one game last week he hit home runs in consecutive at bats, each on the only swing of the bat and after working 3-2 counts, and he’s about to join the list of other players who have led the league in both RBI and Runs Scored for three consecutive seasons — that list being Ruth, Mantle and, iirc, some guy from Boston named Williams. Today’s Trout watch brings the news that he’s about to win RS, RBI and Extra Base Hits for the first time since Ken Griffey, Jr. in 1997. And thanks and fare thee well, Derek Jeter, I guess I’ll finally take those posters down in my son’s room.

      • phred says:

        Ummm, in this neck of the woods talking baseball does not result in a positive vibe. Just sayin’ ; ) Thanks for the fishing news though! ; )

    • jo6pac says:

      See the 9ers have found new ways to lose. I will go on record that head coach and OC will not be 9ers next season.

      Az. deserves the win.

      • bmaz says:

        Looked great second half. First half pretty shaky. But, hey, I’ll take it. They have to go to Denver next week though, that might get ugly.

      • phred says:

        I am sorry for your loss. More to the point though, I am genuinely surprised. What’s up with the 9ers??? Or will bmaz finally have to admit the Carpetbaggers ain’t so bad? ; )

  17. scribe says:

    The Mankins Gap is turning into a real issue, moving up toward urgency equal to the “where’s King Roger?” watch as of, oh, lunchtime (eastern) last Friday.

    • Bay State Librul says:

      Pats offensive line?

      “But there’s no escaping these problems and there’s no way the team can pretend like the loss of Logan Mankins, as well as Dante Scarnecchia, hasn’t been devastating.”

      Yet, the Pats are still 2-1….. and headed for the playoffs?

      • scribe says:

        Pats offensive line?
        “But there’s no escaping these problems and there’s no way the team can pretend like the loss of Logan Mankins, as well as Dante Scarnecchia, hasn’t been devastating.”
        Yet, the Pats are still 2-1….. and headed for the playoffs?

        Offensive line? What’s an offensive line??
        This was the Raiders – coming to the East Coast for an early game, where they always lose – they couldn’t do more than one TD against. And the Raiders did a fair job of controlling the line of scrimmage, too.
        And the other win, last week, was the Vikings, who are going nowhere and were when the Patsies came to town last week.
        We’ll see how they do against the Bungles in a couple weeks.
        And then, my Stillers stepped up and ran. Stepped up and defended. Stepped up and won.
        ‘nuf said.

  18. JohnT says:

    Giants pull one out last night in the 13th (crosses fingers).
    I’d like to say they’re gonna take the West from the Dodgers but they’ll prolly get swept again by the Padres

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